DREAM Act Failure is Obama’s ‘Largest Disappointment’

President calls the bill's defeat 'heartbreaking.'

By Jamilah King Dec 22, 2010

On Wednesday President Obama patted himself and his team on the back for what he called the "most productive post-election period that we have had in decades." But his biggest disappointment? The failure of the DREAM Act to pass the Senate last weekend.

From the New York Times:

He declared himself disappointed by the failure of lawmakers to pass the Dream Act for children of illegal immigrants. And he predicted that the two parties will have a "robust debate" about a long-term budget for the country when the holidays are over.

The largest disappointment, he said, was the Dream Act failure. He said he gets frequent letters from kids whose parents brought them here from other countries as small children and are treated as illegal immigrants when they grow up.

"It is heartbreaking," Mr. Obama said. "That can’t be who we are. To have kids, our kids, classmates of our children, who are suddenly under this shadow of fear, through no fault of their own."

The DREAM Act has helped inspire countless undocumented youth to become politically active. Despite his administration’s record number of deportations, the president’s administration expressed strong support for the bill in its final weeks, and Obama lamented that the Senate’s failure was "incredibly disappointing."